Army awards $248 million ID contract

The Army awarded a $248 million contract Tuesday to Symbol Technologies Inc. to field and deploy a wide range of automatic identification devices including bar code readers, magnetic stripe cards and radio frequency "tags" to track supplies and parts for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine users worldwide.

The Army Communications-Electronics Command, which manages the Automatic Identification Technologies II procurement, said the contract will enhance warfighting through real-time access to logistics data. Lack of such a coherent system in the Persian Gulf War caused tons of supplies to pile up at ports while service personnel had to manually determine the contents of crates and standard 40-foot shipping containers.

Symbol, headquartered in Holstville, N.Y., said it will supply DOD with a "complete line of wireless mobile computing and scanning systems" on the AIT II contract. Symbol said the systems it plans to supply through AIT II will enhance the rapid and accurate deployment of materials and personnel throughout the world, track supplies through the military's global distribution centers. The AIT II contract also calls for Symbol to provide smart card technology for military personnel identification.

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